January 3, 2017: RCPP in Oregon, new IRS notice, and happy new year!


COLT’s weekly land trust news

Tuesday January 3rd, 2017

Out with the old, in with the new!
As 2017 begins, the Deschutes Land Trust has some great pics from their wildlife camera from 2016.

Happy New Year everyone!

On behalf of Kelley and I, we hope your respective holidays were most pleasant and that 2017 is off to a good start for each of you.

In thinking of a (re)fresh(ed) start to the new year, I have updated the format to this weekly news email to bring it more inline with COLT’s other emails. Hopefully this refreshed and slightly reorganized format is still as easy to use; happy for any feedback you may have.

One news piece to mention here, the Land Trust Alliance sent out an email at the end of December regarding a recent IRS notice that targets easement syndication (conservation easement tax shelters) by labeling them as a “listed transaction”. This means that investors entering into such deals will soon need to file a tax shelter disclosure statement, effectively pouring cold water on what may otherwise appear as a “hot deal”.

Here’s a quote from the email we received from Wendy Jackson, the Alliance’s new Executive Vice President on the matter:

“We had been hoping that this guidance would zero in on transactions that disguise a profitable tax shelter as a charitable donation for conservation, and it appears it has done just that. By making these arrangements a listed transaction, the IRS has taken an important first step in stopping donations structured to give donors back more than they give.

“Importantly and appropriately, the IRS does not require land trusts to report these transactions, sparing their boards from having to make technical tax determinations on donations. Additionally, the IRS notice says land trusts will not be subject to penalties merely because they received such a donation.”

LTA President Andrew Bowman also speaks to this news in his recent blog post. And finally, this recent article in Forbes Magazine explains both the trouble with easement tax shelters and some of the implications of the IRS notice quite well.

Other than this, please find below the news bits waiting for us as we got back to our desks today after an enjoyable week off.

Warm and best wishes in this new year,

Mike Running
Communication and Outreach Manager

Oregon Land Trust News

Photographer, Frank Lospalluto, spotted an uncommon flock of Bohemian Waxwings visiting the Pilot Rock area in Southern Oregon; he calls this one the Sentinel. This beautiful photo was found on the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy’s Facebook page; original photo can be found here.

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